August 12, 2018

Behind the US/Worldwide Weekend Box Office – 8.12.2018


OPENINGS:  THE MEG (Gravity/Warners) had a fair hold on Saturday, down 2%, which brought it to a $44.5M weekend.  That’s 83% better than Skyscraper‘s start, and 27% better than Rampage, and with no new direct competition next weekend, The Meg could reach $125M in the US.  However, the mega-B-movie had a reported $300M+ in production/marketing costs, so its path to profitability depends on its overseas results.  It had a $96.8M launch in 42 markets, the bulk of it ($50.3M) from China, where it benefits from being an official US/China co-production, allowed to retain a much higher percentage of box office receipts than the standard Hollywood release.  That China opening is below Rampage‘s $55M, and slightly above Skyscraper‘s $48.1M.  (Neither of those were official co-productions.)  There are still a few major territories to open, including Australia, Korea and Japan, but its stamina in China will likely determine whether it swims to profit.

SLENDER MAN (Screen Gems/Sony) started at $11.3M and will almost certainly burn out fast (it dropped 21% on Saturday).  Costs were low, but it will be a breakeven proposition at best.

Spike Lee’s BLACKKKLANSMAN (Focus/Universal) gave the filmmaker the 3rd highest opening of his career at $10.8M, and also his best since 2006’s Inside Man.  In addition, its $7100 per-theatre weekend average at 1512 theatres was much higher than Sorry To Bother You‘s $5200 at 805, and it’s reaching an older audience that increased Saturday’s result by 14% over Friday.  All of that should put it in good position as the rest of the summer plays out, and it attempts to be part of the Oscar conversation that will start in earnest with film festival season in a few weeks.  The film dipped a toe into international release with $400K in 3 markets.

DOG DAYS (LD) found no owners with a $2.6M weekend that gave it $3.7M since its Wednesday opening.  It probably won’t reach $10M in the US.

HOLDOVERS:  MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (Skydance/Alibaba/Paramount) dropped 43% in its 3rd weekend to $20M, a bit steeper than the 40% drop for Rogue Nation, but at a higher box office level.  Fallout should be able to push past Rogue Nation‘s $195M in the US and become the 3rd in the franchise to top $200M.  Overseas, Fallout is at $275.6M after a $38.4M weekend in 59 markets that don’t yet include China, where Rogue Nation earned $135.7M.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Disney) fell 49% in its 2nd weekend, a bit worse than the 47% Weekend 2 drop for Pete’s DragonRobin is running ahead of Pete, but at a decelerating rate, and should end up around the same $76.2M. It’s at $12.1M overseas after a $3.8M weekend in 25 territories.

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME (Lionsgate) didn’t have much traction with a 45% Weekend 2 drop to $6.6M, despite being the only adult comedy in the market, and is headed to around $40M in the US.  It’s dying overseas, with $7.3M after a $4.9M weekend in 52 territories.

The longer-running holdovers all stayed on course.  MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN (Legendary/Universal) dipped 35% in its 4th weekend to $5.8M as it heads to $115M in the US, and is at $177M overseas after a $21.5M weekend, both results significantly below the first Mamma‘s $144.1M in the US and $465.7M overseas.

THE EQUALIZER 2 (Escape Artists/Columbia/Sony) is performing much closer to its predecessor’s numbers, down 37% in Weekend 4 to $5.5M, and likely to equal or slightly better the $101.5M total of the first in the series.  It’s still in limited release overseas, with $10.2M after a $2.1M weekend in 16 markets.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION (Sony Animation/Columbia/Sony) dipped 36% in its 5th weekend to $5.1M, on its way to $160M in the US.  Overseas, it’s at $231.4M after a $17.1M weekend in 58 territories, with China opening next week.

ANT-MAN & THE WASP (Marvel/Disney) shed 36% in its 6th weekend to $4M, and should reach $210M in the US.  It’s at $245.4M overseas after a $6.5M weekend in 42 markets, with China (where the first Ant-Man earned $105.4M) and Japan still to come.

Things didn’t get any better for last weekend’s flops. THE DARKEST MINDS (21 Laps/20th) fell 64% to $2.1M and may not see $15M in the US, with more ugliness overseas where it’s at $10.9M after a $4.8M weekend in 48 markets.  DEATH OF A NATION (Quality) slid 60% to $950K, and may not get to $7M, the worst result of ex-con director Dinesh D’Souza’s career.

LIMITED RELEASE:  PUZZLE (Sony Classics) expanded modestly to 44 theatres with a $3700 per-theatre weekend average.  MCQUEEN (Bleecker Street) widened to 53 with a $2900 average.  THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (FilmRise) averaged $4300 at 25.  SCOTTY & THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD (Greenwich) spread to 18 with a $3K average.  THE CAPTAIN (Music Box) averaged a low $2200 at 6.

NEXT WEEKEND:  CRAZY RICH ASIANS (SK Global/Warners) will get a jump on the competition with a Wednesday launch.  On Friday, prehistoric action movie ALPHA (Columbia/Sony) and Mark Wahlberg vehicle MILE 22 (STX) arrive.  Limited releases include JULIET, NAKED (Roadside), THE WIFE (Sony Classics) and WE THE ANIMALS (Orchard).

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."